Eye of the Red Tsar

Eye of the Red Tsar

by Sam Eastland


$14.40 $16.00 Save 10% Current price is $14.4, Original price is $16. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, July 24


Shortly after midnight on July 17, 1918, the imprisoned family of Tsar Nicholas Romanov was awakened and led down to the basement of the Ipatiev house. There they were summarily executed. Their bodies were hidden away, the location a secret of the Soviet state. A decade later, Pekkala, once the most trusted secret agent of the Romanovs, is now Prisoner 4745-P, banished to a forest on the outskirts of humanity. But the state needs Pekkala one last time. His mission: catch the assassins who slaughtered the Romanovs, locate the royal child rumored to be alive, and give Stalin the international coup he craves. Find the bodies, Pekkala is told, and you will find your freedom.

In a land of uneasy alliances and lethal treachery, pursuing clues that have eluded everyone, Pekkala is thrust into the past where he once reigned. There he will meet the man who betrayed him and the woman he loved and lost in the fires of rebellion—and uncover a secret so shocking that it will shake to its core the land he loves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553593235
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/25/2011
Series: Inspector Pekkala Series , #1
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 903,346
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Sam Eastland lives in the United States and the United Kingdom. He is the grandson of a London police detective who served in Scotland Yard’s famous “Ghost Squad” during the 1940s. He is currently at work on his next Pekkala novel, which Bantam will publish in 2011.

Read an Excerpt

The man sat up with a gasp.  

He was alone in the forest.  

The dream had woken him again.  

He pulled aside the old horse blanket. Its cloth was wet with dew.  

Climbing stiffly to his feet, he squinted through the morning mist and beams of sunlight angling between the trees. He rolled the blanket and tied the ends together with a piece of rawhide. Then he slipped the roll over his head so that it draped acrosshis chest and back. From his pocket he removed a withered shred of smoked deer meat and ate it slowly, pausing to take in sounds of mice scuffling under the carpet of dead leaves, of birds scolding from the branches above him, and of wind rustling through thetops of the pines.  

The man was tall and broad-shouldered, with a straight nose and strong white teeth. His eyes were greenish brown, the irises marked by a strange silvery quality, which people noticed only when he was looking directly at them. Streaks of premature grayran through his long, dark hair, and his beard grew thickly over windburned cheeks.  

The man no longer had a name. Now he was known only as Prisoner 4745-P of the Borodok Labor Camp. 

  Soon he was moving again, passing through a grove of pine trees on gently sloping ground which led down to a stream. He walked with the help of a large stick, whose gnarled root head bristled with square-topped horseshoe nails. The only other thing hecarried was a bucket of red paint. With this, he marked trees to be cut by inmates of the camp, whose function was the harvesting of timber from the forest of Krasnagolyana. Instead of using a brush, the man stirred his fingers in the scarlet paint and daubedhis print upon the trunks. These marks were, for most of the other convicts, the only trace of him they ever saw.  

The average life of a tree-marker in the forest of Krasnagolyana was six months. Working alone, with no chance of escape and far from any human contact, these men died from exposure, starvation, and loneliness. Those who became lost, or who fell and brokea leg, were usually eaten by wolves. Tree marking was the only assignment at Borodok said to be worse than a death sentence.

   Now in his ninth year of a thirty-year sentence for Crimes Against the State, Prisoner 4745-P had lasted longer than any other marker in the entire Gulag system. Soon after he arrived at Borodok, the director of the camp had sent him into the woods, fearingthat other inmates might learn his true identity.  

Provisions were left for him three times a year at the end of a logging road. Kerosene. Cans of meat. Nails. For the rest, he had to fend for himself. Only rarely was he seen by those logging crews who came to cut the timber. What they observed was a creaturebarely recognizable as a man. With the crust of red paint that covered his prison clothes and the long hair maned about his face, he resembled a beast stripped of its flesh and left to die which had somehow managed to survive. Wild rumors surrounded him--thathe was an eater of human flesh, that he wore a breastplate made from the bones of those who had vanished in the forest, that he wore scalps laced together as a cap.  

They called him the man with bloody hands. No one except the commandant of Borodok knew where this prisoner had come from or who he had been before he arrived.  

Those same men who feared to cross his path had no idea this was Pekkala, whose name they'd once invoked just as their ancestors had called upon the gods.  

He waded across the stream, climbing from the cold and waist-deep water, and disappeared into a stand of white birch trees which grew upon the other bank. Hidden among these, half buried in the ground, stood a cabin of the type known as a Zemlyanka. Pekkalahad built it with his own hands. Inside it he endured the Siberian winters, the worst of which was not cold but a silence so complete it seemed to have a sound of its own--a hissing, rushing noise--like that of the planet hurtling through space.  

Now, as Pekkala approached the cabin, he paused and sniffed the air. Something in his instincts trembled. He stood very still, like a heron poised above the water, bare feet sinking in the mossy ground. 

  The breath caught in his throat.  

A man was sitting on a tree stump at the corner of the clearing. The man had his back to Pekkala. He wore an olive brown military uniform, tall black boots reaching to his knee. This was no ordinary soldier. The cloth of his tunic had the smooth lusterof gabardine, not the rough blanket material worn by men from the local garrison who sometimes ventured as far as the trailhead on patrol but never came this deep into the woods.  

He did not appear to be lost. Nor was he armed with any weapon Pekkala could see. The only thing he had brought with him was a briefcase. It was of good quality, with polished brass fittings which looked insanely out of place here in the forest. The manseemed to be waiting.  

For the next few hours, while the sun climbed above the trees and the smell of heated pine sap drifted on the air, Pekkala studied the stranger, taking note of the angle at which he held his head, how he crossed and uncrossed his legs, the way he clearedthe pollen dust from his throat. Once, the stranger launched himself to his feet and walked around the clearing, swatting frantically at swarming mosquitoes. As he turned, Pekkala saw the rosy cheeks of a young man barely out of his teens. He was slightly built,with thin calves and delicate hands.  

Pekkala could not help comparing them to his own callused palms, the skin on his knuckles crusted and cracked, and to his legs, which bulged with muscles, as if snakes had coiled around his bones. 

  Pekkala could make out a red star sewn onto each forearm of the man's gymnastyrka tunic, which draped in peasant fashion like an untucked shirt halfway down the man's thighs. From those red stars, Pekkala knew the man had reached the rank of Commissar,a political officer of the Red Army. 

  All day, the Commissar waited in that clearing, tormented by insects, until the last faint light of day was gone. In the twilight, the man brought out a long-stemmed pipe and stuffed it with tobacco from a pouch which he kept around his neck. He lit itwith a brass lighter and puffed away contentedly, keeping the mosquitoes at bay. 

  Slowly, Pekkala breathed in. The musky odor of tobacco flooded his senses. He observed how the young man often removed the pipe from his mouth and studied it, and the way he clamped the stem between his teeth--which made a tiny clicking sound, like a keyturned in a lock. 

  He has not owned the pipe for long, Pekkala told himself. He has chosen a pipe over cigarettes because he thinks it makes him look older.  

Now and then, the Commissar glanced at the red stars on his forearms, as if their presence caught him by surprise, and Pekkala knew this young man had only just received his commission.  

But the more he learned about the man, the less he could fathom what the Commissar was doing here in the forest. He could not help a grudging admiration for this man, who did not trespass inside the cabin, choosing instead to remain on that hard seat ofthe tree stump.  

When night fell, Pekkala brought his hands to his mouth and breathed warm air into the hollows of his palms. He drifted off, leaning against a tree, then woke with a start to find that the mist was all around him, smelling of dead leaves and earth, circlinglike a curious and predatory animal.  

Glancing towards the cabin, he saw the Commissar had not moved. He sat with his arms folded, chin resting on his chest. The quiet snuffle of his snoring echoed around the clearing. 

  He'll be gone in the morning, thought Pekkala. Pulling up the frayed collar of his coat, he closed his eyes again.   But when morning came, Pekkala was amazed to find the Commissar still there. He had fallen off his tree stump seat and lay on his back, one leg still resting on the stump, like some statue set in a victorious pose which had toppled from its pedestal.  

Eventually, the Commissar snorted and sat up, looking around as if he could not remember where he was. 

  Now, thought Pekkala, this man will come to his senses and leave me alone. 

  The Commissar stood, set his hands on the small of his back, and winced. A groan escaped his lips. Then suddenly he turned and looked straight at the place where Pekkala was hiding. "Are you ever going to come out from there?" he demanded.  

The words stung Pekkala like sand thrown in his face. Now, reluctantly, he stepped out from the shelter of the tree, leaning on the nail-topped stick. "What do you want?" He spoke so rarely that his own voice sounded strange to him.  

The Commissar's face showed red welts where the mosquitoes had feasted on him. "You are to come with me," he said.  

"Why?" asked Pekkala.  

"Because, when you have listened to what I have to say, you will want to."   "You are optimistic, Commissar."  

"The people who sent me to fetch you--" 

  "Who sent you?"  

"You will know them soon enough."  

"And did they tell you who I am, these people?"  

The young Commissar shrugged. "All I know is that your name is Pekkala and that your skills, whatever they might be, are now required elsewhere." He looked around the gloomy clearing. "I would have thought you'd jump at a chance to leave this godforsakenplace."  

"You are the ones who have forsaken God."  

The Commissar smiled. "They said you were a difficult man."  

"They seem to know me," replied Pekkala, "whoever they are."  

"They also told me," continued the Commissar, "that if I came into these woods armed with a gun, you would probably kill me before I even set eyes on you." The Commissar raised his empty hands. "As you see, I took their advice."   Pekkala stepped into the clearing. In the patched rags of his clothes, he loomed like a prehistoric giant above the tidy Commissar. He became aware, for the first time in years, of the rank smell of his own unwashed body. "What is your name?" asked Pekkala.  

"Kirov." The young man straightened his back. "Lieutenant Kirov." 

  "And how long have you been a Lieutenant?"  

"One month and two days." Then he added in a quieter voice, "Including today."  

"And how old are you?" asked Pekkala.

   "Almost twenty."  

"You must have annoyed someone very much, Lieutenant Kirov, to have been given the job of coming to find me."   The Commissar scratched at his bug bites. "I imagine you've annoyed a few yourself to have ended up in Siberia."   "All right, Lieutenant Kirov," said Pekkala. "You have delivered your message. Now you can go back where you came from and leave me alone."  

"I was told to give you this." Kirov lifted up the briefcase from beside the tree stump.  

"What's in it?"  

"I have no idea."  

Pekkala took hold of the leather-wrapped handle. It was heavier than he expected. Holding the briefcase, he resembled a cross between a scarecrow and a businessman waiting for a train.  

The young Commissar turned to leave. "You have until the sun goes down tomorrow. A car will be waiting for you at the trailhead."  

Pekkala watched as Kirov went back the way he had come. For a long time, the snapping of small branches marked his passage through the forest. At last the sound faded away and Pekkala found himself alone again.  

Carrying the briefcase, he walked into his cabin. He sat down on the pine needle-filled sacks which served as his bed and placed the briefcase on his knees. The contents slumped heavily inside. With the edges of his thumbs, Pekkala released the brass latchesat each end.

   When he lifted the lid, a musty smell wafted up into his face.  

Inside the case lay a thick leather belt, wrapped around a dark brown holster which contained a revolver. Unwrapping the belt from around the holster, he lifted out the gun--an English-made Webley revolver. It was a standard military issue except for thefact that its handle was made of brass instead of wood.  

Pekkala held the gun at arm's length, staring down the sights. Its blued metal glowed in the dim light of the cabin.   In one corner of the case lay a cardboard box of bullets with English writing on it. He tore open the frayed paper packaging and loaded the Webley, breaking the gun so that its barrel folded forward on a hinge, exposing the six bullet chambers. The bulletswere old, like the gun itself, and Pekkala wiped off the ammunition before he placed it in the cylinders.  

He also found a tattered book. On its crumpled spine was a single word--Kalevala.

   Setting these items aside, Pekkala spotted one more thing inside the briefcase. It was a small cotton bag held shut by a leather drawstring. He loosened the top and emptied out the bag.  

He breathed out sharply when he saw what was inside. 

  Lying before him was a heavy gold disk, as wide across as the length of his little finger. Across the center was a stripe of white enamel inlay, which began at a point, widened until it took up half the disk, and narrowed again to a point on the otherside. Embedded in the middle of the white enamel was a large round emerald. Together, the white enamel, the gold, and the emerald formed the unmistakable shape of an eye. Pekkala traced a fingertip over the disk, feeling the smooth bump of the jewel, like ablind man reading braille.  

Now Pekkala knew who had sent for him and that it was a summons he could not refuse. He had never expected to see these things again. Until that moment, he had thought they belonged to a world which no longer existed.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Eye of the Red Tsar 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 108 reviews.
tweezle More than 1 year ago
"Eye of the Red Tsar" is a terrific fictional story of the mystery of the Romanov murders. It involves a well developed main character, Inspector Pekkala, who once served and was friends with the Tsar and his family. The way his character is presented really makes the book work. He is revealed bit by bit, making the whole theme even more mysterious. The book starts out at a slower pace, building the characters and plot, but it makes the story solid and as time goes on, allows you to start piecing some things together. As the story continues, the pace picks up and then takes on an urgent air that makes you not want to put it down until it is finished. Full of mystery, murder, suspense, and a surprise or two, this is definitely worth the read. I am really looking forward to the next book in the series, which according to the author's website will come out in 2011!!
Scubapro06 More than 1 year ago
This is a very enjoyable read. The step-back in time viewing a different culture, coupled with a society in change and individual transitions kept me very interested. The other two novels in this series are also worthwhile.
lovestoread203 More than 1 year ago
Eye of the Red Tsar is a suspenseful historical fiction by Sam Eastland. Pekkala, a former detective for the tsar, is being freed after ten years in a labor camp to investigate the death of the Romanovs. He reunites with his brother Anton and newly appointed Commissar Kirov to find the bodies of the last tsar and his family. I couldn't put the book down and finished the first day I got it. I would recommend the novel to fans of historical fiction and mystery. The book has too many flashbacks, this book probably had the highest ratio of flashback to story out of the books I have read. The characters are interesting, Pekkala worked as the personal detective of the tsar and was feared and respected across the nation. Kirov was an aspiring cook in the army but was promoted to the rank of commissar because the other officers were too afraid to work with Pekkala, and Anton, after being kicked out of the Finnish Regiment joined the revolution and is now a communist officer. The plot is gripping and the book is well written. Eye of the Red Tsar is surprising and does offer a real look into a dark era of Russian history. In the book it is obvious that the majority of the people are living in poverty and there is even an entire town where the people are well fed so that western reporters believe that the Russian people don't need help. Eye of the Red Tsar is an interesting and different version of the common story of the Romanovs with great characters, I can't wait to read the sequel.
TBAYFINN More than 1 year ago
this is a great read. love it can't wait till the next installment
Ty Martin More than 1 year ago
Despite the fact that tge Romanovs have become the main characters or at least the subject of many recent historical novels, don't pass this one over thinking 'same old story'. You'll find this one a little more creative, not at all formulaic, and harder to put down than some of the typical 'Anastasia Lived' or 'The Romanovs Survived and live in Canada' books...a very good story. I recommend this for a light, fast read - a taste if Romanov 'history' and mystery. If you want to go a little deeper into the dark Soviet era for a 5-star more developed novel, read CHILD 44 when you are done with this one (not a Romanov story but a great later era book).
Kelly Lazar More than 1 year ago
Great story. Eloquently written with a suspensiful plot. Couldn't put it down. Really looking forward to the next book in the series!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book (more accurately, my NOOK) down! Great character development and visuals put me right in the middle of the story. My only disappointment is that Mr. Eastland hasn't released another book, yet. Can't wait for his next one!
KenCady More than 1 year ago
Eye of the Res Tsar is a top notch historical novel, full of interesting twists and turns. I read it nonstop, which was disappointing only because the book was finished the same day I started to read it. Yes, it is no secret that a sequel is already announced, but I didn't know that when I read the book. I am glad for that, since I could kind of doubt the ending, but then, why start and end a good series with one book? Barnes & Noble is encouraging reviewers to write at least 100 words in their reviews, which I think is generally a good idea, so I will conclude by saying that this novel will be popular with both fans of historical novels as well as fans of good mysteries.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you've always been fascinated by the Tsar and his family - you have to read this one. Good fiction about a monumental event.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Before the Revolution in two steps, Tsar Nicholas Romanov trusted his brilliant Finnish born investigator Pekkala to solve impossible cases. However, in the Summer of 1917, the great detective became Prisoner 4745-P exiled to spend the rest of his life for crimes against the state in the harshest Siberian gulag. Surviving in his icy forest more as a wily beast over the next decade, he remains with no hope of either going home to Finland or St. Petersburg. However in 1929, Stalin orders the Tsar's "Emerald Eye" brought to Moscow to investigate the murders of the Romanovs in Ekaterinburg. The Communist leaders wants to know who killed the Tsar and his family; who survived if any; and what happened to the Tsarist treasure? Although a super investigative frozen case, the story line is in many ways a wonderful historical thriller as the audience learns plenty of what happened to the Tsarist family, the hero's back-story in Finland and on the train to Russia, and the salad days of Stalin's rule. Fast-paced throughout, readers will appreciate this fine tale as every Russian who knows anything understands the need to remain mute as death by assassination is better than the one way ticket to the gulag. Harriet Klausner
everfresh1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book is based on Russian history but environment that he creates is not authentic. Premise is implausible. Writing is not good. Couldn't finish it.
Oberon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Eastland's Eye of the Red Tsar is a readable and enjoyable mystery. I would put the book into a list of beach reads but not a book that I would reread. The main character, Pekkala is the Tsar's personal investigator. Following the revolution, he is recalled from exile ostensibly to discover who was responsible for killing the Tsar. Led on by the hope of a surviving member of the Tsar's family, Pekkala tracks down various leads while the reader is given glimpses of Pekkala's elevation and eventual fall and exile via flashbacks.While I enjoyed the story and the setting, ultimately I gave the book mediocre marks because the inevitable betrayal was a little too inevitable and the big surprises seemed too obvious. Mystery novels where you wait around for 50 pages for the protagonist to figure out the conclusion you arrived at long ago are dull. That combined with some fairly implausible deceptions pulled me out of the story. For all that, I will probably read the next in the series, albeit from the library.
caviglia_jr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Eye of the Red Tsar by first time novelist Sam Eastland (apparently, a pseudonym)was an interesting, if flawed, read. The portrayal of the Soviet Union in the early years of Stalin's dictatorship was a fascinating one, as is his depiction of the last reigning years of Tsar Alexander. The protagonist is Inspector Pekkala, who operated as an impartial investigator for the Tsar. After ten years in the gulag, he is pulled out by Uncle Joe himself to investigate the murder of the Tsar and his family, to once and for all lay the matter to rest.The mystery and the setting are engrossing, but both his politics and his characterizations seem a little simple. Pekkala seems almost superhuman in his abilities as an investigator, his remarkable survival skills, and his incorruptibility. The Tsar is seen as so kindly and upstanding I had a little trouble buying it. It also seems as if this is intended to be the first book in a series, and Pekkala will continue to investigate crimes for Stalin. Which doesn't really make sense, as according to Soviet dogma, a country as free and happy as the U.S.S.R. has no crime, so I'm a little baffled as to how this series will progress. At least I'm interested enough to find out if he does subsequently publish a sequel.
jastbrown on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What an impressive first novel. I worried that it would just be an ineffective homage to the style of Martin Cruz Smith. It's not. However it compares very favorably with MCS, on it's own terms. Installed by Tsar Nicholas, as an almost omipotent investigator, Pekkala answers not even to the Tsar himself. He's both protected and despised because he cannot be influenced. He's known by the singular badge of his authority, The Emerald Eye. Forced, by the Tsar, to abandon the Romanovs just before the end, Pekkala is captured and isolated in a labor camp for almost a decade, when he is abruptly recalled to solve the mystery of who killed the royal family, if indeed, they were killed.This is an intelligent story, very well written. Every once in a while I read a novel where the author is talented enough to include a scene which he describes so fluently.. so perfectly, that my mind can believe that I am there. The Eye of the Red Tsar had at least four or five such passages. Thank you, Sam Eastland.. I'll be first in line to buy your next Pekkala novel!
cathyskye on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
At one time, Pekkala was The Emerald Eye-- Tsar Nicholas II's most trusted personal investigator. For the past nine years, he has been Prisoner 4745-P in a Siberian prison camp. Given the job of tree marker which carried with it a life expectancy of six months, Pekkala has proven much tougher than anyone expected, and that is a good thing for Stalin.Human remains have been found in an abandoned mine shaft, and Stalin wants Pekkala to identify them. If they are indeed the bodies of the Romanov family, Stalin wants Pekkala to find the royal family's killers. Even before spending nine years in a Siberian prison camp, Pekkala is no fool, and he knows that Stalin's agenda has more on it than that, but even The Emerald Eye isn't prepared for all the twists and turns this investigation will throw at him. All he knows for sure is that he will investigate because Stalin has promised Pekkala his freedom if the case is concluded successfully.For anyone who loves tsarist Russian history, the beginning of this novel is memorable, and as I read the opening pages, I hoped that this new perspective would mean that I was in for a reading treat. Even so I was surprised by how much I didn't want to stop reading this book. If I could have ignored all obligations, I would've happily read Eye of the Red Tsar in one sitting, proving without doubt that I can be the worst biblio-glutton.As I learned more about Pekkala's childhood in Finland, as I learned how he met Tsar Nicholas, as I watched him follow each lead and talk to anyone who might have the slightest bit of information, I was in Siberia in 1929. The plot moved quickly and was full of switchbacks, only some of which were easily deduced, and when I read that Eastland's next Inspector Pekkala novel is expected in 2011, I got a huge smile on my face.Even the thought of another Pekkala novel makes me smile right now.
aaronqa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As a subject that interested me as a young adult, I found this novel to be a pretty good quick read. This story follows the secret right hand man of the Tsar Nicholas, Pekkala also known as the Emerald Eye and his release from confinement to help find the bodies of the Romanovs he was once sworn to protect. As we follow Pekkala through this mystery, the present intersects with his past thorough various points of this book.As the author intends to make this into a series of books, we hopefully see more of Pekkala's past and how it's made him into the detective he is today. The brief glimpse in this novel is really not enough to have us form any real attachment with the character. As for the main plot, it's almost believable in the sense that there were a lot of questions surrounding the death of the Romanovs but with the final plot twist near the end, it makes it a little more difficult to believe.Overall, I enjoyed the quick read that this book offered. I would like to see more of Pekkala and how he become the man he is today and look forward for more of the author's work.
jadfair on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well-written, suspenseful: This book makes me wonder where all the interesting historical novels were when I was growing up. I hope that this is the beginning of a series (based on the ending, I assume it is).
pando19 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Glimpse into Post-Revolutionary Russia Wrapped in a Murder Mystery!, March 21, 2010A trusted friend and confidant of Tsar Nicholas II, Pekkala was a detective with unlimited power and unlimited public appeal. But his relationship with the tsar caused him to be imprisoned following the murder of the tsar and his family. Only the lure of untold wealth could have caused the red tsar (Stalin) to bring him back from confinement.Here's my take on Sam Eastland's first novel:PROS:1. For me, this novel was a fascinating introduction to life after the revolution. Although I cannot say I'm surprised, I had no idea that villages were created to give journalists false ideas about conditions in the Soviet Union.2. The character development is excellent. While there's still a lot to be discovered about Pekkala (in Eastland's next novel I suspect), we learn a lot about who and what he is as the novel progresses. We learn how he came to be such a skilled observer of details. We learn about the tragic riff between Pekkala and his brother. We learn what the Emerald Eye means to him, both professionally and emotionally.Added to this cast of characters is the Tsar himself, and, this is the first time I'd really thought about him as a human being rather than simply as a tragic victim of a revolution he could not see coming until it was too late.3. Suspense? Here aplenty, as the protagonist leads us into creepy settings and deals with men of less than sterling character. Hints to the final solution are blessedly few and far between.CONS:The Eye of the Red Tsar ended before I was ready. I wanted More, More!OVERALL:The Product Description was right on target . . . if you're a fan of Gorky Park, or if you, like me, thoroughly enjoyed Child 44, this novel's a great pick for you. I highly recommend it!
JJKING on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Just finished this book and "I LOVED IT"the story line is one that will grab you and not let go...when I saw this next book "Shadow Pass" I put in a request for a copy...if I don't get one...will be one of the first to put my name on list at the library...and for those who are lucky to get a copy...do yourself a favor...get a copy of this book...I'm sure will agree
rsottney on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book picks up pace quickly and carries the reader along comfortably. I have never heard of author Sam Eastland before this, but I enjoyed this book at least enough that I would be interested in seeing what else he has to thumb through.
PatrickJIV on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Unusual thriller story that held my interest the entire beginning to end. Extremely enjoyable and interesting with the actual truth at the end of the book. Worthwhile read!
richardderus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Book Report: Pekkala is the Tsar's most powerful subject, the only one with the power to arrest even the Tsar himself for crimes against Russia. The Revolution, naturally enough, ends that power, and Pekkala endures torture and isolation for more than a decade before Comrade Stalin needs Pekkala's unique skills and knowledge to solve a lingering mystery: Who actually killed the Tsar, since it wasn't Moscow's orders to do so? Did any of the Romanovs survive Ekaterinburg? The answers to the questions posed takes Pekkala, his estranged brother Anton, and a young chef-in-training reassigned to political censorship because there is no food to cook, all over Siberia and the trans-Ural region, and once discovered, allow some of Pekkala's old scores to be settled.My Review: A perfectly pleasant way to spend an afternoon.
cbl_tn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ten years after the Russian Revolution, the Tsar's trusted investigator, Pekkala, is abruptly released from confinement and called into service by the new government. The combination of Pekkala's skills and his knowledge of the Tsar's inner circle uniquely qualifies him to track down the killer(s) of the Tsar and his household.The author gradually reveals Pekkala's history by interweaving flashbacks with the current investigation. The flashbacks provide essential background information without interrupting the pace of the story. Eastland avoids the mistake made by many other writers who over-tell their stories by including descriptions and scenes that divert the reader's attention from the central thrust of the novel. Eastland's writing is focused. He provides just the right amount of detail to build tension and reach a satisfying conclusion within a reasonable number of pages.Pekkala's re-introduction to society after a decade of isolation wasn't quite convincing. Pekkala seems to quickly shake off his initial awkwardness. I couldn't help comparing him to Dickens's Dr. Manet in A Tale of Two Cities, who was permanently scarred after his time in the Bastille and who suffered a number of relapses during his recovery. I think Dickens's portrayal is probably the more realistic of the two.Pekkala's background in osteology is an interesting twist for the historical suspense genre. If the author develops that aspect of Pekkala's investigative technique in subsequent books, the series might appeal to quite a few readers who enjoy the forensic novels and television series that are so popular right now. Enthusiastically recommended.
wkelly42 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Emerald Eye is a man known simply as Pekkala. Private investigator to Czar Nicholas, Pekkala gains a reputation among those in the know in Russia, which proves dangerous when the Czar and his family are killed in the Bolshevic Revolution, and Pekkala himself becomes simply Prisoner 4745-P. After years in prison, he is summoned by Josef Stalin to solve a decades-old mystery -- who actually killed the Romanovs, and are there any survivors?This book starts a bit slowly, but if you stick with it you will be rewarded. By the middle of the book, I couldn't put it down at all, and I finished the last hundred pages faster than I finished the first fifty. The story is suspenseful, and the characters are memorable, even for someone who doesn't have Pekkala's famous memory! If you don't know much about pre-Soviet Russia, you will learn a lot from this book without even really realizing it.Parts of the plot were somewhat obvious, especially if you remember Chekov's Gun, but this is an outstanding introduction to what I hope will become a long-running series.
joannalongbourne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
very interesting book; great main character in Pekkala, the former top cop for the last tsar and now working for Stalin to find out what really happened to the Romonov